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Deadline Fast Approaching For Predators Restricted Free Agents



Predators defenseman Alex Carrier

There’s just one week left before the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. The Nashville Predators have 10 players who are eligible for arbitration this offseason, two of which are headed home over the summer.

Forward Cody Glass and defenseman Alexandre Carrier are the big fish in Nashville’s RFA group, but with the draft just a few days away, contract negotiations may have to take a backseat.

“Yeah, we’re still discussing it,” Predators assistant general manager Scott Nichol told Nashville Hockey Now. “We just have a lot of young guys coming in. You go through your RFAs and you want to pick and choose which ones fit your team and where you want to go moving forward with it.

“I think we’ll get through it this week and then we’ll probably hopefully get things going. We have a really good crop; we’re really excited. We have probably five first round picks in Milwaukee next year, which I don’t know if we’ve ever had that.”

However, incoming Predators general manager Barry Trotz had an update to the RFA’s on Friday morning over the 102.5 The Game airwaves.

“We’ve been in talk since the end of the season,” Trotz said. “The asks and the offers are still out there so we’re going to get them done, there is no question they’re going to get done. The asks at this time in the year and right after the season for the most part they’re always a little off on both sides probably.

“It’s just negotiation. They both have arbitration rights so that may be a process we end up going with. I left it up to our people to talk to them and I have talked to them as well. They will get done and I expect both of them to be part of our group next year. Looking forward to having them back and getting them signed.”

A source close to the situation indicated to Nashville Hockey Now on Thursday that there is no traction on a deal between Carrier and the Predators.

It’s expected that the 26-year-old defenseman — who was injured twice and missed 39 games this season — will either be given a qualifying offer by the Predators or traded. At least that’s the feeling as the offseason picks up. If there isn’t a worthwhile deal for Carrier, a new contract is feasible. If he is given a qualifying offer, he’ll be owed $787,500.

Conversely, Glass’ camp previously stated there have been “preliminary conversations” with the Predators, albeit that was two weeks ago. If Glass is qualified, like Carrier, he will be owed $917,831 until a new deal is struck.

“I’m just under the impression right now neither of these two cases is on the front burner and they’re focusing on what they have to do next week,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said on 102.5 The Game Thursday.

Whether the Winnipeg native signs a one-year bridge deal or a multi-year extension, the Predators have a 24-year-old centerman who scored 14 goals and 35 points in 72 games, including 15 points in 27 games down the stretch while playing 24 games on Nashville’s top line.

In addition to Glass and Carrier, the fates of two other RFAs is already known. Former fifth-round pick Tomas Vomacka has already confirmed his return to the Czech Republic where he will wait and see what happens regarding any potential offers. Finnish forward Markus Nurmi also won’t be returning after signing a three-year deal with TPS Turku in the Finnish Liiga.

Follow Nick Kieser on Twitter: @KieserNick

(Photo of Alex Carrier by John Russell/Nashville Predators)

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